What an amazing thing it is. I still can’t believe MG-Rover didn’t make more of its capabilities. It’s fantastic! The all alloy KV6 is the sweetest 6 I have ever owned. Soooo smooth around town, then open her up on a B road and listen to the engine note change to a bark as the variable intake system opens fully. Heaven! This is a genuinely fast car, hampered off the line due to the fact there is no traction control, but on the move it comes into its own. Overtaking is no problem at any speed. This car makes very good use of it’s circa 180BHP.
As for the chassis you could not ask for more from a FWD platform. It has virtually zero torque steer and from a car that has 144 BHP per tonne that’s no mean feat. The steering is sharp and precise due to the fact that it has a higher geared rack than the standard 45, plus MG fitted much stiffer poly bushes instead of rubber ones to the ZS’s all-round double wish bone suspension. Yes that’s right, double wish bone at the front, with a double wish bone set up on the rear helped out with the aid of a trailing arm to control and adjust toe-in/out. It also has up rated anti-roll bars to maintain body control. The brakes are powerful and very progressive.
To liken the car to any other is difficult as there aren’t many Escort sized cars with ruddy great V6’s shoehorned under the bonnet. All I can say is, if an Alfa 166 V6 got it on with an Impreza T2000 the 180 ZS would be the outcome of this unlikely, but beautiful pairing!
Other plus points are:
Speed sensitive PAS
Park distance sensors
Leather and suede seats
Single CD head unit with 6 disk CD MP3 multi-changer in the boot
Mk2 looks the DB’s with its wider wheels, track and body kit.
New “TT” style dash is pleasing to the eye.
29 MPG is achievable, will go down if provoked.
Big boot with split rear seats plus remote key opening.
Cat 1 immobiliser and alarm to deal with thieving scum and lowlifes.
They are now very cheap to buy, even new. About the price of a Fiat Punto.
If you need any more convincing, go to any search engine and type in Tiff Needell and MG 180 ZS, say no more!